Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Jones: Governor Patrick Misses Opportunity, Again

Governor Deval Patrick has missed yet another opportunity to save the Commonwealth tens of millions of dollars, House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. said today.

Governor Patrick recently vetoed section 29 of the most recent supplemental budget that would have created a new mandatory drug repository program and potentially saved millions in prescription drug costs paid by the state’s Medicaid program.

Section 29 of the supplemental budget would have created a broad-based recycling program here in Massachusetts that would allow residents and consultant pharmacists in healthcare facilities to return unopened and unexpired prescription drugs.

Similar programs are in place in 37 states across the country. The program Representative Jones proposed had the potential to save $20 million annually.

“It is important to think outside of the box and come up with innovative ideas that have the potential to lead to savings for the Commonwealth,” said Representative Jones. “Here’s an alternative solution to the state’s problems that does not involve asking the taxpayer to pay more in taxes and fees. To me, it’s really that simple.”

Governor Patrick vetoed the section, saying the Department of Public Health will examine the possibility of implementing this reform under existing authority.

“The fact that such a program does not already exist is a concern,” added the North Reading lawmaker.